My Romance with Radio
Radio was the most popular and widely used gadget we had ever seen. In the past it was the only medium for entertainment. Even this too was a luxury in those poverty stricken days. Then with increasing popularity and the resultant demand, one thing happened. Radio became cheaper making it an unavoidable home appliance in every home. Here I make a stroll through the nostalgic memory of radio, which was so popular in my childhood days. Though it is a universal thing, this story I present here has an Indian flavor just because I am an Indian.
How Radio Became Popular
Knowing the story of how Radio became popular is interesting. It was a slow and steady win. What influenced the people most was music and news broadcast. Calculating the high penetration of Radio, the broadcasters started airing programs participating the listeners too. The lay men were so excited when they heard their own name being read through radio. The 'Songs on Demand' (Your Requested Ones!) program thus became a hot one. Listeners from across the country started to write (request) for their favorite numbers quoting their names as well that of the entire family members.
Some India Story
I still remember my childhood habit of playing with the radio. Tuning, listening and 'exploring' more stations were my passion. BBC, Voice of America, Stations from Pakistan, Kuwait, Hong Kong, Russia, Germany, Australia....all satisfied my ear. 'The more the Band, the more the pleasure' was the mood of that time. A Radio of Ten Bands was a dream for many. Size also mattered. I saw the biggest in my high school's office (Zamorin's College High School, Tali, Calicut). It was beautiful too. I wished to own such a one.
Listening melodies of Hindi songs through various programs such as "Aapki farmayish", "Manchahi geeth", "Chaayageeth", "Jayamala" were a thrilling experience. Everyone felt a kind of nostalgia. The entire nation stood attentively to enjoy it. It was a great relax from the hustle and bustle of life.
Advantages of Radio
Unlike TV or Internet, it doesn't steal our time. We can attend our work from home or office listening radio. There is no harm for our eyes and fear of becoming "potato couch"! TV on the contrary, badly affects our health if watched long, the most damage being for eyes.
On the operational side also radio has many advantages. It requires less power and can be used during power failure also with inexpensive batteries. There is no need of antenna, cable or any registration with Service Providers. We need not pay any subscription too. Thus, it is the cheapest entertainment medium also.
The post 90s saw the emergence of Color TVs and Cable Channels. Then came Internet. All these provided round the clock entertainment. The society naturally shifted their choice to these media. Radio slowly lost its charm and nobody spared time for this "Blind Box". It was almost thrown out from the living room unable to compete with the "Idiot Box"!
Thank God, fortunately a positive change has taken place now. People have renewed their love for radio and are coming back now. Perhaps they must have fed up with the routine and boring Sops on TV. The listeners are now well aware that the TV Serials are nothing but "Tear Production Units"! The invasion of FM Radio has brought cheers back to radio lovers and it can be attributed as the chief reason for the shift in favor of radios.
The villages and metros alike are now vibrant with FM Radios. 'Infotainment' is their new 'mantra'. Information and entertainment are mixed and served hot. Traffic updates, climate condition, train schedules, engagement, etc., are announced for the benefit of listeners.
Let's romance with Radio and relax! Let us have some fun. It is a nostalgic gadget of our old good days.
Do you have any nostalgic experience with Radio?
© 2012 Sunil Kumar Kunnoth